The Giants’ defeat of the Seattle Seahawks was exactly the kind of win they needed to prove they are the team to beat in the NFC now that the second half of the season is upon us. Simply winning the game would not have been enough. They needed to dominate the game both physically and statistically; they needed the scoreboard to reflect this domination; and they needed to prevent Seattle from having a chance to catch up.
The Giants did all of this, and more. Think back to the victory in Dallas, when we were nauseous watching the first quarter, elated during the second and third, and petrified during the fourth. Statistically, the score should never have been as close as it was, yet the Giants made a ridiculous number of mistakes early on, then backed off enough to give the Cowboys a chance to come back. If it had been any other team, that game would have ended in a loss. The Giants desperately needed to show that it could start strong and finish off a team during the game, and stop them from having any illusions that they could rally for a win.
In short, any elite team should be able to completely dominate a team like Seattle, especially when they are missing their quarterback. The Giants have proven that they are among the elite with the right kind of victory Sunday, complete with few mistakes and superior play-calling. They also threw off a few statistical stigmas along the way, and have themselves poised for serious playoff discussions.
Let’s take a look at a few key statistics heading into Seattle that had many critics questioning the outcome of this game:
The Giants were 6-15 in games after the bye week: Although Tom Coughlin has turned this stigma around during his tenure, there were many question marks heading into this game, especially when you consider the next fact.
The Giants had lost the last 4 games at Seattle: Even without their starting quarterback, Seattle’s 12th man seems to affect this team. I don’t even want to think about the number of false starts I have witnessed at that field!
And my personal favorite point: With this victory in Seattle, the Giants have scored an average of 36 points in its last three road games. Does this remind you of a certain season, where the Giants were known as the “Road Warriors” all the way through the Super Bowl in Arizona? The loss at the Colts prevents the full resurrection of this title, but this team is so much like that of 2007 with its weekly improvements in trouble areas and consistent domination of teams that should lose badly.
This was certainly the kind of win the team needed to keep confidences high, especially as they head into a difficult stretch of games. 5 of their next 8 games are division match-ups, and even the Cowboys cannot be taken lightly. As we watch this team mature each week, however, I believe we can expect to see more of the right kind of victories in the coming weeks.